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Askar FRA600 Quintuplet Astrograph initial impressions + unboxing

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#1 coinboy1

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 03:11 PM

Got an Askar FRA600 Quintuplet Astrograph the other day. Build quality is amazing and it is much larger and beefier than a Takahashi FSQ106 I use to own. I am impressed! 

 

The low down on specs is:

108mm aperture F5.6 (600mm FL) flat field astrograph, 5 elements in Petzval arrangement, Triplet in the front lens cell with 2 ED elements, doublet field corrector (built in the tube with enormous 80mm diameter internal lenses), VERY NICE 4.3" Dual speed rack and pinion focuser with several adapters, very nice tube rings and metal front dust cover, adjustable sliding dew shield, and a very nice case.

 

Bought it from Agena and got it shipped via UPS Ground. Arrived in excellent shape double boxed + foam padding around the case. 

 

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Upon opening the case I was greeted with a beautiful astrograph enclosed in plastic and very well padded case! Case is built like a Scope Guard case.

 

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Removing the tube rings and plastic reveals the bare OTA. It is SOLID and HEAVY! 

 

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#2 coinboy1

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 03:14 PM

Front Metal dust cap! Very well machined and laser etched and fits like a glove

 

IMG_2500.JPG

 

Shot of the front lenses, coatings are perfect and beautiful. 

 

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Solid 4.3" R&P focuser is much better than FSQ106 focuser. Much smoother and more precise, very much like a large feather touch focuser. 

 

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#3 coinboy1

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 03:17 PM

Beautiful tube rings and carry handle! 

 

IMG_2503.JPG

 

Final initial impressions (at least until the clouds clear up):

 

Very solid and well made and very affordable. I can't even get a used Takahashi FSQ106 for this cheap. It certainly wouldn't come with a case or a nice focuser (sorry Takahashi, your focusers aren't my favorite). Image circle is 66mm so will cover even medium format chips. Spot diagrams look very nice and have a very flat field. 

 

Will do a field assessment next....


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#4 Don Taylor

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 04:40 PM

Very nice Tony!   Looking forward to first images.  Looks like it might clear some Tuesday night.


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#5 coinboy1

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 04:43 PM

Hey Don,

Great hearing from you! Yeah planning on Tuesday night! Will let you know!
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#6 tkottary

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Posted 01 February 2021 - 12:41 AM

Have you got the reducer as well? Interested to see the results with reducer on FF.



#7 coinboy1

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Posted 01 February 2021 - 02:19 PM

Not yet, I plan on it though!
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#8 Gilgm

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 09:48 AM

Hi - Looking at this too - as a newbie , would the EQ6R PRO be compatible ?



#9 coinboy1

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 11:24 AM

For sure the EQ6R pro would be able to carry the OTA.
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#10 TxStars

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Posted 03 February 2021 - 09:33 PM

If the optics in that scope produce good images it will sell like hot cakes.

With just slightly longer f.l. than a FSQ a full frame camera will give a nice field of view.

Can't wait to see the first images.

 

*get that reducer ordered while they have them..  lol


Edited by TxStars, 03 February 2021 - 09:38 PM.

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#11 coinboy1

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 08:00 AM

Unfortunately It might be a week or two before I produce any images. Had to travel last minute for work.

#12 Don Taylor

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 09:32 PM

Tony, winter conditions will be on us for the next 10 days or so anyway - although I did see stars tonight. Seeing not very good in BA.


Edited by Don Taylor, 04 February 2021 - 09:32 PM.

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#13 coinboy1

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 11:02 AM

Yeah not looking forward to this winter cold front coming in. It might be a couple of weeks for sure before I get around to it.

#14 Uggbits

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 01:19 PM

I received my Askar 600 back in November, and I agree on all the points around build quality. The only potential weak point is that there is some image shift in the focuser when you change direction, but it holds loads very well.

 

For my Askar 600 there is some divergence in the red and green/blue channels at the edge of a full-frame sensor. It isn't catastrophic, and I expect that it wouldn't be particularly noticeable on a monochrome sensor (refocusing for red solves it). It lines up reasonably closely with the spot-diagrams, but I find that the blue/green channels are tied more closely than the spot-diagrams suggest (i.e. a slightly triangular flare in towards the edge of the frame in the red channel if blue/green are focused, while a slightly triangular flare towards the centre for blue/green if red is focused). There may be some slight aberrations introduced by the EF-RF adapter I am using with my Ra due to mild intrusions into the light cone, so I'm sourcing a straight RF t-ring at the moment. 

 

I have been able to get some solid results from it so far, and the field is very flat, even out to the edge of that 43mm image circle. The reducer arrived last week, so I'm looking forward to testing it once things clear up a little. 

 

Cheers, 

Dan

 

Edit - changed 'sensor' to 'focuser' in the first para second sentence.


Edited by Uggbits, 05 February 2021 - 01:25 PM.


#15 coinboy1

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 03:03 PM

Thanks for the info! You were one of the few posts I saw when I did my initial research on the Askar FRA600. I did wonder if your Canon Ra was suffering from an internal problem as suggested in this post here: https://www.cloudyni...-star-problems/

 

Also I agree any looseness or out of square with the adapter could cause problems. I will test this scope out in the coming weeks!

 

-Tony



#16 Don Taylor

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Posted 10 February 2021 - 09:33 PM

Tony:  About this weather we are having...........  Let's see now: 3 days of ice storms so far, snow this weekend, and it won't get above freezing for 10 more days!   I think your purchase of the new scope has something to do with this. Coincidence? I think not!


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#17 coinboy1

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Posted 15 February 2021 - 11:59 AM

lol.gif ^^so true.



#18 Don Taylor

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Posted 16 February 2021 - 08:40 PM

Well, I guess we can share the blame for tonight's snowstorm - I ordered another eyepiece yesterday and I'm sure that helped to prolong the miserable weather. Crossing my fingers though, weather forecast has warm temperatures and clear skies in about a week.



#19 JoelRed

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 03:04 AM

Hi Tony,

 

Have you managed to do any tests yet? I am very keen on this scope, but am concerned about the focus sag issue I’ve read about. Would love to hear if its a regular problem.

 

Cheers!



#20 SimonIRE

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 12:52 PM

I’m really interested in this thread; I’d be fascinated to hear how this compares to the FSQ106 you owned.

Simon

#21 coinboy1

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Posted 22 February 2021 - 05:14 PM

Hey all,

 

Sorry I have been out of town for work during the week and it seems like the weekends are busy and/or cloudy. I will hopefully get around to testing the scope soon.  

 

I too am interested how it will perform compared to the FSQ106 that I once owned. I have high hopes based on the build quality. It is very good, nothing feels cheap. It is solid and heavy. Even more so than the FSQ106 I once owned. 

 

-Tony


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#22 sperho

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 12:50 AM

I look forward to your testing results Tony... :)  This looks like a serious contender to the Esprit 100.  



#23 RogeZ

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 12:19 PM

I will have mine too this week with the reducer as well.
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#24 maxmir

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 01:53 PM

Here is my 1st test single 30 sec exposure. Some clouds and moon. Still a touch or tilt in the Y direction. Seeing was below average too

 

https://www.astrobin...1s4s/0/?nc=user

 



#25 maxmir

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 01:57 PM

Are you extra focal star images as strange as mine? My former FSQ106N had star test that looked like any good APO.

 

Inside focus is 1st image

 

Thanks

 

Max

Attached Thumbnails

  • Inside_clone_Preview01.jpg
  • Outside_clone_Preview01.jpg



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